Dr. Arnold Almonte is a gifted, board certified plastic surgeon. He is one of the only surgeons in Sacramento, CA that has dedicated 100% of his practice to cosmetic surgery of the face. He has performed over 2,500 facial plastic surgeries using local anesthesia, the safest option available.
Most of us have probably heard, “Your face is your fortune.” Research by economists and psychologists confirms this saying as true. People who look better are treated better and earn more. Sad to say, those who with low facial appearance ratings are often viewed, treated and paid poorly.
Facial plastic surgeons help people improve their looks, and often their lives, with rejuvenation procedures that fit their needs and budgets. But everyone is so busy these days that people who’ve had a procedure sometimes wonder, “Can I fix my face and forget it?”
Regular follow-up is crucial to aging well
Two factors work against us every day, causing our faces and necks to look older. Intrinsic aging, programmed into our genes, causes us to produce less of the substances we need to look good. For example, after the age of 20 we manufacture less and less collagen and elastin, which provide skin firmness and elasticity.
Extrinsic aging occurs because of external factors like sun damage, tobacco use and air pollution. These can accelerate skin damage and make us look older sooner than we have to. Just as abrasive sandstorms are wearing down the pyramids and ocean storms progressively erode the coastline, intrinsic and extrinsic aging makes our faces and necks look increasingly older.
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” Thomas Jefferson is reported to have said. Once we’ve had a procedure to look younger, it is also the price of continuing to look our best. Surgical procedures last anywhere from 6-12 years; even the best facelift won’t last forever. Regular follow-up is needed to age well.
Why do I have to keep having Botox and facial fillers renewed?
Often, patients who choose Botox or filler injections to improve their facial appearance may wonder, “Why do I have to schedule more shots?” Both Botox and fillers are absorbed into the body over a 6-8 month period. Without new injections, signs of aging will return. While some feel this is a bad thing, it’s actually a safety feature for these products.
The body gradually absorbs Botox and fillers, which is why booster shots are necessary. This is far safer than introducing an artificial substance under the skin which cannot be absorbed. In some countries, surgeons inject silicone to treat bags under the eyes. These can become rock-hard lumps.
As their skin ages, it can drape over these lumps, leaving patients looking worse than they did before. The only remedy is to surgically remove the silicone, which will leave scars that cannot be hidden. It is far safer to use injections that the body tolerates well and gradually absorbs.
Regular follow-up can save time and money
Regularly seeing your facial plastic surgeon allows him or her to help keep your skin healthy and looking its best. Since everyone is a little different, it also allows them to get to know your individual anatomy and adjust your treatment as needed.
For instance, the standard recommended Botox injection is 20 units. While this is usually sufficient to get rid of brow wrinkles for a time, some patients require more. If the standard Botox injection doesn’t remove their wrinkles, some switch doctors, hoping for a better outcome. However, without knowing the patient, few surgeons will exceed the recommended 20 unit injection. Thus, the patient can receive unsatisfactory treatments from a series of physicians.
If, instead, they had returned to their original doctor, he or she could have given them an additional injection to increase their Botox level to the point where it eliminated their wrinkles. In a short period of time, with minimal added cost, they would have gotten the results they wanted.
Ongoing benefits of a follow-up program
As heredity and the environment cause the inevitable signs of aging, your doctor can recommend appropriate treatments that can keep you looking younger longer. For instance, in the years after a facelift, noninvasive and less expensive treatments that stimulate collagen growth can help maintain your younger look.
In addition, medical grade skincare products available from your doctor are often far more cost-effective than over-the-counter creams that may cost a lot and accomplish little. All these reasons make it clear that, rather than trying to “fix your face and forget it,” staying in touch with your facial plastic surgeon can pay real dividends.